ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 8th Augst,2016) : More than 600,000 pilgrims are expected to visit Madinah to pay homage to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and pray at his mosque, according to Hatim Qadi, spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah. Talking to Saudi gazette he said, the pilgrims started arriving in Madinah on Thursday. "On that day, 60 Haj flights landed at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah," he added.
The spokesman said 14 lounges have been prepared at the airport to receive the pilgrims who will be served by 42 passport counters. Qadi said all government and private establishments are geared to receive the pilgrims and provide them with the best services that will help them perform their acts of worship in peace and comfort. He explained that nine establishments are providing services to the pilgrims. Representatives of six Tawafa establishments, the Unified Zamzam Office in Makkah, the Unified Office of Agents receive them on arrival at the entry points, in addition to the Establishment of Guides in Madinah.
Qadi said the number of pilgrims this year is expected to be similar to last year as the cut in the quota system is still being applied. Since the 2013 Haj, the Saudi government has decided to enforce a reduction in the number of pilgrims permitted for each country under a quota system approved by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to allow expansion work at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.